Asthmatics' Physical Activity Level Is Low
Asthma patients have some physical work to do. A report published recently in Chest found that a majority of US adults with asthma do not meet the current national recommendations for leisure-time physical activity. People who do not have asthma, however, are nearly as inactive. "Little [was] known about the physical activity patterns among US adults who have asthma," wrote Earl S. Ford, MD, and his associates at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For their study, the researchers examined data on leisuretime physical activity for 165,000 people who participated in the 2000 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. They discovered that 30% of the 12,500 participants with asthma were physically inactive, as well as 24% of 5000 people who used to have asthma. About 27% of current asthmatics met the suggested level of physical activity, compared with 28% of both former asthmatics and those who never had asthma. The CDC researchers noted that this is the "most detailed and largest examination of leisure-time physical activity patterns among US adults with asthma to date." The investigators concluded that although the level of physical activity is similar to that seen in nonasthmatics, "a slightly higher percentage of adults with asthma are not meeting the national recommendations for physical activity."